After years in a drawer, Tintin painting sells for 3.2 million euros

PARIS (Reuters) – A painting by comic hero Tintin, which had been folded in a drawer for years and sold for 3.175 million euros at a Paris auction on Thursday, announced the auction house.

The painting is the work of the Belgian illustrator Georges Remi, better known for his Nom de Plume Herge, who was the author of the Tintin comics. He died in 1983.

Herge submitted the painting for his editor as the proposed cover for the Tintin album “The Blue Lotus” before World War II, according to the Artcurial auction house, which carried out the sale.

But Herge’s publisher rejected the painting and another Herge image was used for the cover.

The illustrator donated the rejected picture to Jean-Louis Casterman, the heir to the publisher who published the Tintin books.

Casterman kept the painting folded in a drawer. Until his death, he turned down offers to sell the work and said he appreciated it as a gift from Herge, according to Eric Leroy, comics expert at Artcurial.

The sale price of 3.2 million euros is before the auctioneer’s fees are added. The buyer was a private collector whom the auction house failed to identify.

The price exceeded the upper end of the auctioneers’ estimate of 2.8 million euros.

The picture in the painting shows the intrepid young reporter Tintin in oriental clothes, flanked by his dog Snowy, who is hiding in a vase from a rampant red dragon.

The ink, watercolor and gouache painting still bears the markings where it was folded.

“It’s the most beautiful privately owned product on the market,” said Leroy before the sale.

($ 1 = 0.8235 euros)

Letter from Christian Lowe; Adaptation by Angus MacSwan

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